Inland water is an important natural resource that is critical for sustaining marine and terrestrial ecosystems as well as supporting a variety of human needs. Monitoring the dynamics of inland water bodies at a global scale is important for: (a) devising effectivewater management strategies, (b) assessing the impact of human actions onwater security, (c) understanding the interplay between the spatio-temporal dynamics of surface water and climate change, and (d) near-real time mitigation and management of disaster events such as floods. Remote sensing datasets provide opportunities for global-scalemonitoring of the extent or surface area of inland water bodies over time. We present a survey of existing remote sensing based approaches formonitoring the extent of inlandwater bodies and discuss their strengths and limitations. We further present an outline of the major challenges that need to be addressed for monitoring the extent and dynamics of water bodies at a global scale. Potential opportunities for overcoming some of these challenges are discussed using illustrative examples, laying the foundations for promising directions of future research in global monitoring of water dynamics.